SA men in Dewani case to go on trial next year

Two men charged with the township murder of British honeymooner Anni Dewani are to go on trial next year in the Western Cape High Court.

Dewani’s husband Shrien is accused of masterminding her death, and is currently appealing his extradition from Britain, where he remains in a psychiatric hospital.

Xolile Wellington Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Lennox Qwabe made their final appearance in the Wynberg regional court in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The men face charges of kidnapping, aggravated robbery, murder and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The state was represented by the Western Cape’s director of public prosecutions, Rodney de Kock, assisted by deputy director Adrian Mopp.

De Kock told magistrate Jackie Redelinghuys he had decided to arraign the men in the high court. He said a pre-trial conference was scheduled in the high court for February 10 next year, to ensure there were no unforeseen hitches to delay the trial. The actual date for the beginning of the trial is still to be scheduled.

Mngeni, who is accused of firing the shot that killed Dewani, has a malignant brain tumour. His co-accused helped him into the dock.

At the last hearing, at which Mngeni was absent, the court undertook to decide by Tuesday whether to abandon the charges against him due to his condition, and to proceed against Qwabe alone. Nothing was said about Mngeni’s medical condition at the hearing on Tuesday. — Sapa

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